Due to their unique blade design, Hikari shears must be maintained as outlined in the Hikari shears owner’s manual. Care and maintenance is the key element in achieving maximum performance from your Hikari shears. Failure to perform proper care and maintenance on a daily basis will most likely result in a damaged shears and unsatisfactory performance.
Please take the time to carefully read the following information and if you have any questions, please contact us. Maintained properly, Hikari shears will perform better than any shears in the industry. This information is the result of many years of research and testing. The methods and techniques are proven, and ensure your shears will perform “like new” for as long as possible.
I. Correct Tension and Adjustment
Testing for correct tension should be performed daily, especially in the first two months of use. During this time, the washer in the pivot area will be settling and, as it does, the tension on your shears will loosen and need to be adjusted.
Do not use shears if tension is incorrect. As the tension loosens on a shears, the screw loosens and the blades begin to come apart. If you try to cut with shears, under these conditions, they will bend or fold the hair. The only way shears with loose tension can cut is if the blades are pushed together by using horizontal thumb pressure (click to scroll to this item for explanation). In doing this, you will dull and nick your blades quickly. For these reasons, it is extremely important that you check the tension daily and adjust it when necessary.
Testing for correct tension:
- Hold shears as if to execute shears over comb technique.
- Turn hand over with thumb parallel to ceiling (your palm facing up).
- Open blades completely, by moving thumb (up) only.
- Remove thumb and allow weight of handles to close blades
- Looking at the length of the blades, if the blades remain completely open, tension is correct.
- If the blades close half way, or completely, the tension is too loose and tension adjustment procedure must be performed.
When correct tension is achieved, finish by performing cleaning and oiling section before using shears.
- Holding shears securely in a closed position, place against edge of table (use towel to protect table surface)
- Insert screw driver (or coin)
- Exerting firm downward pressure, turn screw counter-clock-wise, (to the left) 1/8 turn to loosen.
- Then, turn screw clockwise, (to the right) ¼ turn to tighten.
Test for correct tension.
NOTE 1: If shears is still too loose, repeat 4 and 5. If shears is too tight, repeat 3 and 5 only.
NOTE 2: All of the Hikari shears feature a screw design easily adjusted with a quarter or dime.
II. Oiling and Cleaning
“Oiling and Cleaning” is an important practice that insures your shears perform consistently and remain accurate (sharp) throughout its cutting life.
A two-phase process, it involves cleaning and then lubrication of a shears’s major contact points, minimizing unnecessary wear and damage.
Why Oil and Clean Daily?
Daily oiling and cleaning will enhance the performance and extend the cutting life of your shears. Regular cleaning and lubrication protects against rust and deterioration from chemical/moisture contact in the salon environment, build-up of bacteria attracting debris in the interior pivot and blade area, reduces friction from blade movement, and prolongs sharpness.
Using a soft cloth towel, thoroughly wipe shears and blades after every haircut. This will reduce build-up of chemicals and debris, which may adversely affect the performance of your shears throughout your workday.
(at the end of each workday, before leaving the salon) With shears in closed position, add one drop of oil to the side of the screw. This will lubricate the screw and pivot preventing unnecessary wear in this area.
How to oil:
Opening the shears blades, add one drop of oil to both inner surfaces of the blades. Carefully wipe excess from pivot to point. This lubricates all major contact points of the blades, prevents wear, and prolongs sharpness.
Add two or three drops of oil to the pivot area, opening and closing the blades three to five times. This allows the oil to draw out any debris trapped in the pivot. Then carefully wipe blade, pivot, and screw area of all excess oil. Oil will dry protecting all major contact points before the following workday.
III. Thumb Pressure and Technique:
Don’t Defeat The Design:
Pushing, pulling, exerting any force or horizontal pressure to cut only defeats the design of the shears. Because Hikari’s edge is on the inside of the blade, these techniques will result in premature wear of the blades, pivot area and in severe cases nicking and structural damage.
Many stylists have developed the habit of applying horizontal thumb pressure (pushing) to the handles of their dull shears in order to “force” the shears to cut properly. In fact, most shears require a certain amount of horizontal thumb pressure in order to cut.
Hikari shears are designed to cut with no horizontal thumb pressure. Hikari recommends using a finger ring in the thumb opening (not the finger ring hole). This helps the user break the habit of applying horizontal thumb pressure, which is often unknowingly applied.
If you notice your shears dulling very quickly, you may be pushing with your thumb without realizing it. Check your technique and use a finger ring in the thumb opening to help remind yourself not to apply any horizontal pressure to the handles. In addition, make sure the tension is adjusted properly.
What is basic technique?
“Basic Technique” refers to what is generally accepted as correct practical application of shears for cutting hair.
Why Practice Basic Technique?
“Basic Technique” will give you a point of reference from which to consistently execute hair design concepts. It allows maximum utilization of a shears design features and cutting ability, as intended by the particular manufacturer. It allows you to confidently explore the utility of design features to their maximum potential.
How Is Basic Technique Effective?
The best way to use your shears is quite simple. With the thumb controlling the moving blade, use vertical movement to effect the cut. This technique allows the pressure generated from the pivot design and the sharpness of the blades to do all of the work. It also keeps the hands and finger relaxed and in control, giving you more agility and radial freedom to move throughout the haircut.
Never never never cut any material other than hair with your shears. This may result in irreparable damage.
IV. Dos and Don’ts
A Check List of Helpful Reminders
Practice, and then implement the following areas into your workday, to get maximum utilization of your shears.
Tension and Adjustment
Correct Basic Cutting Technique without Thumb Pressure
Oiling and Cleaning
Whether wet or dry, cut only clean human hair. Hair that is coated with fixatives (hair spray, mousse, etc.) or chemicals (perm solution, relaxer) may cause the blades to nick or, in the case of chemicals, deteriorate and rust the blades rendering them irreparable.
Only cut human hair. Never wigs, nylon, paper, plastic or other materials. Even mannequin hair, labeled as 100% Human, oftentimes is treated with a coating that can damage the blades.
Keep your shears away from clips, brushes, combs, and other implements, which can cause accidental damage to the blades.
Storing Your shears
When shears are not being used, (between clients and in storage) keep blades in a closed position. This will reduce the chance of nicking and accidental damage to the blades.
Never use magnets to hold shears in storage. This can magnetize the blades attracting undesirable dust and other particles.
How you store your shears is very important. For adequate protection and ease of travel, your investment in a shears case is a wise decision. Leather is the material that is most recommended. Leather breathes and will naturally allow moisture to dissipate, reducing the chance of rust. Only insert one shears per slot.
V. Possible Solutions to Common Problems
Pushing/bending/folding/chasing the hair:
This is most often caused by one of two things:
1. Tension is too loose.
If, when you check the tension, the shears is closing halfway or more, the tension is too loose. This means that the screw in the pivot area is loosening and the blades will start to come apart. When this happens, because the blades are coming apart, the shears will “bend” the hair rather than cut it. Most people who do not check tension or check it incorrectly will start using their thumb to PUSH the blades together to get them cutting again. When they do this, they are “grinding” the blades together and will dull them very quickly.
2. The shears are dull.
They could have been dulled by cutting with the tension too loose (as described above), by applying too much thumb pressure (Pushing), or if they’re cutting hair with product in it or dry hair (this will actually cause a lot of small nicks that “dull” the blade and cause “bending” and occasionally “pinching”.)
Pinching/pulling the hair
This is caused by a nick on the blade. There are several ways that a nick can occur.
The following are helpful tips.
- Be careful you don’t hit your shears on a comb or clip
- When you set your shears down, your shears should be completely closed.
- Cutting anything besides human hair (even wigs labeled as being made of human hair are often treated with chemicals – so we don’t recommend using your shears on this either) will cause damage to your blade.
Dropping your shears
Lots of small nicks can build up if you are cutting lots of hair that has product in it or if you are cutting dry hair. These small nicks don’t usually cause pinching as much as they cause “crunchiness” and “bending”.
It feels “crunchy” not smooth
I can hear the shears – This is usually because the blades have a lot of nicks on them (see above) and/or the shears have become dull.
These are all just possibilities – each shears is different and the way you use your shears and take care of it will greatly affect the performance of your shears. We have found that when shears do not cut properly, 99% of the time it is due to improper care and maintenance. Incorrect tension, excessive thumb pressure and nicks due to hitting the blade against combs and clips are areas that even long time Hikari users fail to perform properly. If you are experiencing problems with your shears, the best thing to do is to send it to us to be checked and serviced. (Click here for instructions on how to send your shears in) You are always welcome to call our service toll free number to speak with a knowledgeable staff member about your problem. 1-800-255-2705.